The Owl is Calling, and I Must Go

I just realized that it doesn’t matter if it’s weed or alcohol. They both take you away. One to an angry place – alcohol for me, which lets my inhibitions go allowing for other, stronger emotions to emerge – and not good ones. The other to an introspective place – weed. It allows me to go deeper, to feel what I may not want to feel, but in a different, almost safer, environment.

He left today. We drove by the sign for the zoo in Sanford. He said we should stop there sometime (he’s an anthropologist). My immediate reaction was to say I hated zoos. Which I do. I feel as if they are prisons for our amusement. But I understand, as the scientist, he may not share my opinion. I want to honor him. Yet, after a rocky month, sometimes one cannot think of that in the moment.

I came home and opened the windows and the goddamn gecko he has been looking for, who usually lives between our window and screen, was inside. I tried to capture it 3 times but damn they are elusive. So now he is in the closet somewhere, and perhaps one day he will show up again – hopefully not on me while I am sleeping.

I now have a home that contains me, a gecko, a neighbor who is programming his Amazon “Alexa” and simply weeks of endless work – the same old, same old. And I’m tired of that.

I was at the grocery store tonight and one of the men who worked there, and was older – a little younger than my father – helped me. This turned into a 20 minute, fascinating conversation of when he was enlisted, and not only part of the CIA training camp but languages, especially Russian, which would have made sense then. He did not want to let me go, I could tell. But I also needed to get home, to solitude. To figuring out if I can make this work on my own. Why do these men think I am open to their stories? Am I a story teller?

And then the owl called.

And all I could think about was the joy my partner had the last few weeks, trying to find the owl, befriend it, understand it. The joy he brought to others, both human and fowl. How could one not love a man such as this?

I compare too much. I see him as a savior and a hindrance, at times. I love him and want nothing but the best for him, but the past month felt like a war-zone at times, and I think we both became exhausted by it. Long-distance relationships are hard. And with a child in the middle of it all – his – does not make it easier.

But I hear the owl and I think of him. Think of it calling to him, wishing he would return, to go into the yard and talk to it. But it will not happen for some time, and I mourn that the owl might go, time will pass, and all of this will be a memory.

Halcyon moments, during a period that was anything but easy.

I am alone again, and I feel it. A part of me is grateful because I can think. I can be. A part of me mourns his leaving. There seems to be no middle ground. We walk a tightrope of “am I being good” vs “am I fucking my life up” and he will never completely trust me, again. Or so I believe. Of all the people in my life, he knows me the best, and as good a liar as I am, there is little I can get past him.

I found the journal of “what I love about my wife” that my late husband had begun a few months before his death. He saw me in such beautiful ways, and I want to believe his words, his writing, yet after a decade of fucking up my life it is so hard to believe I will ever be the woman he fell in love with. He accepted me. Not to say my current partner doesn’t – but it comes with restrictions and questions and doubts about my honesty.

I do not know what to do. I know this battle is my own. I am in a profession I no longer believe in and am staying here because it pays my bills and medical insurance. But I do not enjoy it. Every morning I wake up to the same struggle. My dear friend sent me a message today, asking if being paranoid that everyone is talking about you is a bipolar thing. I told her I face that demon every day. I am paranoid. I am scared. I am terrified of others, and who I am when I look in the mirror everyday. Because there is still a deep seed of hatred I hold about myself and I do not know how to exorcise it from my soul.

© Sorrow & Kindness


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